Unleash the Power of Hashtags
Some people call them “number signs” or a “pound” sign, but more commonly these days, they are known as “hashtags” and they
seem to be taking over the internet. What are those little # things for, anyway?
In 2007, Twitter users began to use hashtags as a way to track content by subject or keyword. This way, it seemed more
conversational when so many people across the country were talking about the same thing.
The trend continued and now people use them to stay involved in events, keep track of conversations, connect with local
happenings and stay on top of breaking news.
Other social media sites are joining the hashtag craze, like Google+, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest. Facebook is currently in
beta testing for using hashtags across the site as well.
If you’re still not sure why people use them, think of hashtags as a way to index content. If you had a cookbook and wanted a
recipe for meatballs, you would go to the index and look up the word meatballs. Hashtags work much the same, insofar as you
can see what everyone is saying and sharing about a particular topic by the hashtag each of their posts have in common.
How does a hashtag help marketing campaigns for businesses?
If someone told you that you could get the word out about your restaurant, Jo’s, upcoming karaoke competition by bringing
everyone in your city that loves karaoke into a room where you could tell them about it, would you do it? Probably. This is what
hashtags can do for you and your business. You can find highly targeted and relevant tweets and people who tweet them, and
then join in on the conversation by using the common hashtag such as #lovekaraoke. Tweeting about your upcoming karaoke
event to a bunch of people in #Baltimore who #lovekaraoke allows people with those interests, who may not even know you
exist, to see you and hear about a local event you already know they are interested in. Tweeting a picture of your karaoke stage
with just the event info and hashtags can generate enough interest to fill the restaurant to capacity. And with other social
networking sites, you can use the same hashtags and content for each site to cast your net even further.
They are also helpful for promotions or contests. Everyone in your restaurant during the karaoke event can vote for their favorite
performer, who wins a prize at the end of the night. You simply provide everyone with a hashtag term you come up with, like
#Jo’sKaraokeContest and they all use their social media profiles to cast their votes. This generates more followers for you, with
whom you can share events and specials in the future, and creates an interactive and interesting social media profile for your
So you just packed the room, created regular customers, did some heavy marketing, and set yourself up for future events, all
without spending a dime.
Here is a wonderful resource for using hashtags: Hashtags for Businesses
It may only be made up of 4 small lines, but it has infinite possibilities in marketing.